Our 6th session took place on the 23rd of January in the school.
We introduced another another process connected to Batik: using hot wax from burning tea-lights to create images and patterns on paper. There was some silence in the class room!
We set up a space for each child with the burning tea-light, a small paint brush and paper and started a slow drawing process with the melted wax. As the paintbrush and the wax has cooled down relatively quickly, everyone needed all their patience to create their pictures.
The pieces were then painted all over with fabric dyes. A separate, un-waxed sheet of paper was also painted in a pattern or design, decided or chosen by the children.
Our 4th session took place on the 5th of December: a very wintry, Christmas-like session, filled with candle light!
With the patience and help of Patricia the class teacher and the support teachers we re-organized the class room to set up different workstations. The children drew simple shapes of stars, Christmas trees, presents etc on regular white paper. These shapes were then filled with drops of hot wax from burning candles – 4 / 5 children working in the same time and then taking turns.
The waxed pieces were dyed with golden yellow fabric dye (cold water dye) and let dry on the drying rack.
To the delight of everyone we had time for a second piece, this was again a simple sheet of paper but without drawing this time, filled lightly with random drops of hot wax. This was dyed a light blue/turquoise color and will be used at a later stage.
The children really enjoyed this process, worked carefully with concentration but it certainly needs planning and supervision!
The children worked later on with Patricia in the class room to gently remove the wax drops from the dried pieces and cut out the shapes. They had a striking display on the window, letting light through the wax dots:
St Mary`s NS Sandyford – SESSION 7
5 April 2016
Final stages of Batik processes always involve the removal of wax from dried pieces. To do this in the class room (at least to introduce it) we chose to do a bit of ironing – ironing out of melted wax from paper based batiks, so we truly kept up with the “Danger Art” as one of the children called it earlier in the year!
Ironing is also a reason for not having many images to show from this session – we were all so busy that there was little chance for documentation.
While the children were taking turns with the ironing we also started to work on plans and ideas for a three dimensional, sculptural work: small installations, constructions of the places/locations identified and explored earlier. I wanted to make sure that we try to approach this with a bit of abstraction and minimalism, so decided to limit the choice of materials to 3. This definitely doesn`t make it easier and we went through a lot of discussions and explaining and describing etc. But everyone had a plan, an idea developed and a material`s list at the end! Thanks again to Ms Broderick for her fantastic support and help, she assisted the children with these plans after the session, talked through them all and made sure that everyone in the class has the experience of the ironing in the same time…!
Really looking forward to the construction phase!
St Mary`s NS Sandyford – SESSION 6
1 March 2016
This week`s session was shorter and directly followed on the works of the previous work: we had many waxed pieces to dye! Using fiber reactive cold water dyes again, the children painted all the waxed designs and pictures they prepared last week. “Re-visiting” processes and materials is always interesting and reassuring.
A very enjoyable and rewarding process – resulting in myriads of colour shades and mixes!
Truly beautiful work by everyone!
St Mary`s NS Sandyford – SESSION 5
23 February 2016
Our 5th session was a very busy one in the class room: we continued using hot wax for batik processes, but we also introduced a professional wax heater and wax application techniques.
This equipment certainly needs a careful, safe set up in a class room and a structured way to include it in a school session involving a full class. We tried to keep everyone busy, focused and occupied with various activities: drawing places and locations of selected memories, preparing sketches for the batik piece and working on write ups of previous sessions.
Dividing the class this way we were able to work with 4 children at a time from the hot wax pot and keep the process safe and rewarding.
The children prepared two batik pieces with a mixture of pure beeswax and paraffin wax: one referencing the chosen location/place/space, the other a multiple line drawing of simple geometric shapes. The geometric shapes were carved/scratched with large masonry nails afterwards, preparing them for a crackled, textured batik finish.
I also would like to include a few pictures of the very impressive, colourful and creative displays of previous works on the corridor, just outside of the classroom. This is a small school building where one needs to be very inventive to find an extra space for anything, including art works!!
St. Mary`s NS, Sandyford, SESSION 4
1 February 2016
Following from processes of the last session – oil pastel drawings painted over with cold water fabric dyes – we started on a basic wax and dye technique using burning candles!
NB. You need to be obviously very careful, in fact everyone has to be, so maybe this is not one for a very lively or very large class, unless you can do it outdoors..
NB. One also has to consider the smoke alarms as Maria pointed it out to me even before we started; I was grateful for this as I did not think the alarms might go off…
We had 4 long candles burning in the same time and we had a space arranged and allocated at the front of the class room and children were called up for their turn: dropping hot, melted wax onto papers.
The children prepared 2 drawings for this process: one of simple shapes and another of a little more detailed image. Taking this process further, we started the application of hot wax with paint brushes, using a wax heater (specialized for Batik processes). The children were still working on papers, having choices of various sizes and colours
All waxed paper pieces were then painted over with the cold water dyes and left on the drying racks to dry over the next day or two. It`s an exciting waiting time to see how they turn out; the drying process often has an unpredictable element.
I think this session was certainly the most enjoyable for everyone so far – working with burning candles and hot wax in the class room is not an everyday occurrence!
Sessions 1 and 2 at St Mary`s NS, 4th class, Sandyford
7th December 2015 and 13th January 2016
I have decided to join these two sessions in this first post about our primary school residency project – both sessions were more about introductions, discussions, planning…etc, great conversations with a very responsive and interested class!!
I was happy to meet the 26 enthusiastic children in the 4th class and happy to see what an international and multicultural class it is!! For the first time, my name is not the most unusual one! I was also looking forward to working together with Ms Maria Broderick, the class teacher who has a deep interest and a great level of experience in artistic processes, forms of creative expression.
Multicultural backgrounds, different languages and diverse heritage – these all offer a rich source for the explorations during our project: the broad theme is MEMORIES, Collective and Personal RECOLLECTIONS, the process of REMEMBERING – so we could not have arranged better.
We are planning to focus on memories as stories to tell, memories of people, space, sound and colours – using processes of drawings, Batik, paper/fabric constructions and installations.
Writings, drawings and collections of `memory-stories` have started in the project diaries this week.I can see how the diaries will be filled quite soon…